Now in its 29th year, this volunteer- organised event has developed to give you the opportunity to experience a wide range of beers from hoppy, golden American Pales to dark, traditional bitters, and tasty stouts and porters, as well as great range of ciders and perries including an increased range of fruity ciders. If you have not tried us before and fancy experiencing some new then why not give us a go. Our bar staff are always willing to advise if you have any questions on tastes and styles or CAMRA.
The event takes place at Chippenham’s Olympiad and ticket prices include a souvenir glass, programme and some beer tokens to get you started. Food will be available at all sessions, with music from People Like Us on Saturday night. See website for ticket details and Facebook page or twitter @ChippBeerFest for updates. Tickets are available from the Three Crowns, the Causeway or the Prince of Wales Micropub, Station Hill or online.
This year we will be using your surplus tokens to support St John's Ambulance who support us every year by being present at our festival and Prostate Cancer UK which has personally affected two members of the Beer Festival Staff in the last year.
The first Chippenham Beer Festival was held in the town's Neeld Hall in 1992. In 1994 the Neeld Hall was unavailable and so with some trepidation the venue moved to the Studio Hall of the Olympiad Leisure Centre. The festival went without a hitch and the festivals have been held at the Olympiad ever since. In 2018 we celebrated our 27th birthday.
Branch members remember there being too much beer and not enough customers the first year and Paul Hawkins spent the night in the Neeld Hall keeping towels wet whilst Alan Powell fly posted all the town's cash dispensers! The second year had too many customers but not enough beer. By the third year we had the balance right! Beer sales increased year on year from 500 gallons to over 800 gallons in 2010, with customer numbers rising from approximately 1300 to nearly 1900 in 2010.
Owing to alterations in 2011 the Studio Hall was no longer be available for Beer Festivals; but with help from the Olympiad staff and area management we secured the use of the main sports hall for the 2011 festival. As a result, we were able to hold on to a location beside the river Avon: a superb venue, especially for sunny Saturday afternoon sessions. It is also convenient for road, bus and rail links.
An added benefit comes in the form of the Olympiad staff, who contribute so much to the smooth running of the festival. Finally, of course, without our volunteer staff we wouldn't have a festival at all.
Beer and Cider Festival winners
(chocolate fudge milk stout)